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As part of its whirlwind #TransparentLA tour, radical brand Everlane capped off its blogstar-backed campaign last Saturday with panel discussions at Smashbox Studios's dreamy space. Moderated by Everlane CEO Michael Preysman, the inspiring event rounded up LA talents like Bestia co-owner and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, Reformation founder Yael Aflalo, and The Hundreds co-founder Bobby Hundreds (née Kim) for an afternoon of knowledge-sharing and brain-picking.
In addition to treating attendees to healthy brunch bites, the fashionable festivities also offered a sneak peek at Everlane's soon-to-launch spring range, which includes silk tops, lightweight anoraks, and footwear. During the chats, panelists sounded off on a host of topics, from the secret of success, why failure should be an option, and much more. Get a glimpse inside Saturday's haps and read on below.
On being stubborn in business: "I have this quote that I love, which [talks about] just failing over and over again without losing any enthusiasm. There's no way you're going to be successful without having a ton of failures," says Aflalo. "How do you not give up, how do you just keep persevering? I guess it's [just being] stubborn."
On why being an introvert isn't a bad thing: "I'm an introvert across the board," reveals Kim. "I need to be by myself more to do work; I need to sometimes just be gone for a week and then sit in a room—I design, I create, and I write, and then I come back and present all these new ideas and get everyone on board.I also promote that within the whole organization. There's something to be said about an individual...being within their own brain."
Alfalo believes it's important to tap into both your introvert and extrovert sides. "I can turn up, but I need to turn down. I think most people that I know that [excel] within whatever field they're in [can] ride that line," she says.
On how to avoid phone calls: "I change my number at least once a year," says Kim.
On unfair advantages: "We have our own factory, we make about 75% of the clothes inside our factory, and then the other 25% we make in factories in LA. We turn our clothes in two to five weeks, so that changes everything," says Aflalo of Reformation's fast fashion approach. "Instead of having to forecast what people are going want to wear in six months or a year or 18 months, we can just make stuff. If I see somebody wearing a cute skirt, I just go to work and make it."
On why brands shouldn't blow all their budgets on marketing:
"[Marketing] is 6% of our budget; brand marketing and creative are two sides of the same coin," says Preysman. "The most important thing is you have a really good product."
On why vegan leather isn't always better: "We're struggling with that," says Aflalo. Vegan leather [can be] worse for the environment than real leather. Vegan leather is made out of plastics and oils; and then on the other hand, the CO2 emissions from animals [is also not eco-friendly]. It's kind of a no-win thing, so I'm really hoping that technology grows in that area so we'll have more options."
On why Tweeting from the office should be okay: "We have a policy within our company that you can social media everything," reveals Kim. "I want [our employees] to own it. It's their thing, [even though] I'm creative directing it and I'm giving the concept, it's their project."
On why you should fire your best employees: "It sounds kind of mean, but I don't want these people working for me forever," Kim says. "We do everything we can to equip them to get to their dream. Sometimes they leave on their own, but a lot of times I just fire them...And then a year later they come back and they're like, 'That's the best thing you've ever done for me.' These people that we train, they go on and they're the cooler new thing out there, and they're all tied to us."